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Fantasy Football Rankings Part IV of IV

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I had the most difficult time ranking the top 50 players for the upcoming season. I've re-arranged these rankings and flip-flopped players multiple times. I'm sure by the time the season starts, I will re-vamp the rankings again as I'm already thinking about moving certain players up or down. Please see Fake Teams' top 50 of our 200 players for the upcoming season, and feel free to argue in the rankings.

As for other rankings to compare us to all over the interwebs, please check out our friends at Fantasy Rundown!

The top 50 after the jump...

1 Arian Foster, HOU RB1 Where did that season come from? Foster's dominant 2010 season earned him the right to be the number one player in all of fantasy going into the 2011 season. Foster led the NFL in rushing yards and TD's and should be in line for similar work in 2011. His 66 catches last season are just icing on the cake.
2 Jamaal Charles, KC RB2 I was so tempted to put Jamaal Charles first, but I won't let my man-crush get in the way. Coach Haley says Charles is in line for more work, and he will likely be the focal point of the Chiefs offense with Charlie Weis out of the picture. How do you not focus the offense on a runner that averaged 6.4 yards per carry over the entire season?! I might take Charles number one.
3 Chris Johnson, TEN RB3 The former 2K man is still in search for a huge contract. Rumor has it he may not report without a new contract; either way, expect CJ2K to get plenty of work as the Titans look to take the load off of a rookie QB. Had a down year by his standards - 1,364 rushing yards, 44 receptions and 12 TD's. How many backs can say that is their worst year? I'll gladly take at the 3rd position.
4 Adrian Peterson, MIN RB4 Basically in 2011 you want one of the top 4 picks. You're golden with the choice of Foster, Charles, CJ or AP. The last of the 4 has shown glimpses of brilliance throughout his whole career. His main bugaboo, fumbles lost, seemed to be corrected last year as he only lost one fumble all season. ADP has even averaged 45 receptions the last two seasons while improving on blitz pickup and remaining in the game during crucial 3rd downs.
5 LeSean McCoy, PHI RB5 Shady looked like Brian Westbrook Jr. in his second season - McCoy caught 78 passes and averaged 5.2 YPC. However, he only had 207 rushing attempts; if he contributes mightily in the rushing game, he's bound to earn his ranking.
6 Ray Rice, BAL RB6 Despite hauling in 63 passes, Rice had a down year by his standards. Willis McGahee stole red zone carries, and the run-blocking scheme slowed him down, evidenced by his decline in YPC (5.3 IN '09 to 4.0 in '10). Should be top PPR RB again in 2011.
7 Michael Vick, Phi QB1 Unlike last season, this year you are going to have to pay dearly for Vick. In most leagues he should be a first rounder, considering he gives you running back numbers in addition to QB numbers. He looked like a rejuvenated man on a mission last season. The only thing holding him back is injuries due to his wild style of play.
8 Calvin Johnson, DET WR1 Megatron is hands-down the most talented WR in the NFL. If only Matthew Stafford could stay healthy. Johnson scored 12 TD's last season with the likes of Drew Stanton and Shaun Hill throwing his way. The sky is the limit with a full-season with Stafford throwing his way.
9 Andre Johnson, HOU WR2 On his way to another ridiculous season until an ankle injury ended his 2010 campaign, AJ still went off for a remarkable 86-1216-8 line (in only 13 games). Would be the number one WR if it wasn't for the injury concerns.
10 Roddy White, ATL WR3 Matt Ryan's favorite target may be targeted less in 2011 as Julio Jones will cut into his work. Consistently one of the top-targeted WR's in the league, White will still get his numbers, but he may see less. Will still be one of the top 5 WR's in the league.
11 Aaron Rodgers, GB QB2 Continues to be a top-2 QB in fantasy. Already one of the top passing QB's in the NFL, Rodgers thrives in the running game as well, chipping in 356 yards rushing and 4 Td's in 2010. With the same weapons in 2011, Rodgers is in line for another monster season.
12 Rashard Mendenhall, PIT RB7 One of the only few true work-horse running backs in the league, Mendenhall broke out in the Pittsburgh offense last season, scoring 13 times and averaging almost 80 rushing yards per game. Entering his 4th season, I expect Mendenhall to continue with his success as the Steelers pass the ball with such success.
13 Darren McFadden, OAK RB8 Broke through when his owners least expected it. He was one of the nicer draft-day bargains in 2010. The former first-round pick should have another solid season as the likely every-down running back in an improving Oakland offense. I like him in 2011, but owners may be gun-shy to draft him high again after all of his previous letdowns.
14 Jonathan Stewart, CAR RB9 J-Stew would absolutely explode if he didn't have to compete with DeAngelo Williams for carries. It also doesn't help his cause that he's been bothered by foot injuries throughout his career. However, I think Stewart is as talented as almost any back in the league. This ranking suggests Williams leaves Carolina, and Stewart has the backfield to himself.
15 Frank Gore, SF RB10 Gore is the center of the 49ers offense, and he contributes mightily in the passing game as well. Unfortunately he has not put together a full season since his sophomore year of 2006. His hip injury ended his 2010 after 11 games, and he may be a little rusty in 2011. Is he on the way down?
16 Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC RB11 MJD now has a talented backup breathing down his neck, so he needs to make sure his knee cooperates with him in 2011. Clearly hobbled in 2010, MJD missed 2 games and had a career-low of 34 catches. Will his knee hamper him again? I'm not willing to take that chance in the first round.
17 Larry Fitzgerald, ARI WR4 Larry Fitz continues to defy all logic. The Cardinals had zero passing nor running game last season, and Fitzgerald still managed to haul in 90 passes. Expect the Cardinals to make a run at either Kyle Orton or Kevin Kolb. With either QB at the helm, Fitzgerald will put up monster numbers again.
18 Mike Wallace, PIT WR5 "60 Minutes" finished in top-5 in the NFL in receiving yards despite hauling in only 60 passes (ridiculous 21.0 Avg). The man with the best nickname in the NFL should continue to see his targets and receptions rise as the focal point of the passing game. Expect top-5 WR numbers this year.
19 Hakeem Nicks, NYG WR6 The extremely talented Nicks had a career year last season despite missing three games with injuries. His troublesome toe seems to be back at 100%. Nicks was nearly impossible to guard last season as he blew up for 11 TD catches on 79 catches. A healthy Nicks will reciprocate those numbers.
20 Philip Rivers, SD QB3 Can you believe Rivers put up his career year throwing passes to the likes of Patrick Crayton and Legedu Naanee? This just speaks to how truly talented Rivers is; he led the league in passing yards even missing his top two receivers for most of the season. Imagine what he can do with all of his weapons.
21 Michael Turner, ATL RB12 I expect the Falcons to open up the passing game for Matt Ryan. I mean they didn't trade up to draft Julio Jones for no reason. Atlanta is aware that Turner has piled up the carries in the past few seasons, and he even averaged a career-low 4.1 YPC in 2011. Turner is non-existent in the passing game, but he still may have one big season left in him.
22 Matt Forte, CHI RB13 The durable Forte had a nice bounce-back 2010 season. Although he is a huge asset in PPR leagues, it doesn't mean he's a slouch in standard formats. He averaged over 1,600 yards from scrimmage and scored 9 times. With an improved Jay Cutler expanding the offense in 2011, expect Forte to have a similar season this year.
23 Ryan Mathews, SD RB14 Mathews suffered through a disappointing rookie campaign that saw him constantly injured and sharing carries with the team's running back. The Chargers should use Mathews as their primary back this year, and barring injury, Mathews will endure a breakout season.
24 Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG RB15 Bradshaw may or may not be back in NY after a huge contract year. Whether or not he is back in the Big Apple, Bradshaw should be a starter in 2011. His 47 catches and over 1200 rushing yards would be a welcome addition anywhere.
25 Drew Brees, NO QB4 At times last season Brees didn't look himself, and then we later discover he was nursing a knee injury. As a result, he threw for a career-high 22 Interceptions where he may have been forcing the ball in situations he normally wouldn't. A healthy Brees in 2011 makes for a top fantasy season yet again; my only concern is his knee since he's not a mobile QB and can't just run away from defenders.
26 DeSean Jackson, PHI WR7 The speedster from Cal is a threat every time he touches the ball. Just ask the Giants after the Punt Return for a TD in the epic collapse in Week 15 last season. Jackson has had at least one rushing and return TD in each of his three seasons in the league. The deep threat led all receivers with a remarkable 22.5 yards per catch last season. Expect the Eagles to get him the ball more as he only had 47 catches last season.
27 Miles Austin, DAL WR8 Kim Kardashian's Ex had a mildly-disappointing season compared to his 2009 breakout campaign. Although Austin went over 1000 yards and 7 TD's, once Tony Romo went down with an injury, his backup Jon Kitna focused more on Jason Witten and Dez Bryant. With a healthy Romo back, expect Austin's numbers to revert back to his 2009 campaign.
28 Shonn Greene, NYJ RB16 One of 2010's biggest busts is expected to see his role increase with LDT admitting himself he will spell Greene on third downs. Greene showed how much of a talented back he is in the 2009 post-season. This may be a higher ranking than most, but I feel that he will truly break out this season. Greene was ranked in the top 15 on many fantasy lists last season!
29 DeAngelo Williams, CAR RB17 Williams will likely not be back in Carolina as this ranking suggests. The 6th-year back from Memphis should latch on as a starter somewhere and will likely average 5 yards per carry and become a top-20 fantasy RB again.
30 Santonio Holmes, NYJ WR9 The Jets' main priority this off-season is re-signing Holmes, and it appears the feeling is mutual. Holmes was far and wide Mark Sanchez' favorite target once he was back from his 4-game suspension. With Sanchez improving each year, expect Holmes to receive tons of targets and approach/exceed his 2009 numbers.
31 Peyton Manning, Ind QB5 Just another season for Peyton - 2nd in the league in passing yards and TD passes. Manning has not missed a beat and should continue to thrive in the Indy Offense.
32 Jahvid Best, DET RB18 He appears to be over the turf toe injury that hampered his promising rookie season. Best showed glimpses of the back he could be in the first few weeks of the 2010 season, but with Mikel Leshoure in the mix, Best's value takes a small hit. Leshoure could be the Lendale White to Best's Chris Johnson, but no one knows for sure.
33 Steven Jackson, STL RB19 It pains me to rank S-Jax this low, but there seems to be too much tread on his tires at this point of his career. He appears to be wearing down, constantly battling injuries, averaging career-low 3.8 YPC last season. However, new OCJosh McDaniels may come up with game plans to keep Jackson's legs fresh and institute more of a passing offense. S-Jax is an excellent receiver.
34 Antonio Gates, SD TE1 Before suffering a season-ending foot injury that he actually tried to play through, Gates was on his way to a record-breaking season. He actually ended up tying for the league lead in TD's by a TE with 10 despite missing 6 games. If he comes near those numbers again, he should be the # 1 TE again.
35 Brandon Marshall, MIA WR10 The only thing that is going to prevent Marshall from being a top-10 wideout this season is if his wife stabs him…again. Marshall enjoyed three tremendous seasons in Denver going for over 100 catches in each until a disappointing 2010 season (by his standards) in Miami. In season two, expect the Miami game plan to feed Marshall the ball over and over. He's too talented to not eclipse 100 catches again.
36 Tony Romo, Dal QB6 May be drafted at a discount this season. Expect Dallas to be one of the best offenses in the league with the likes of Austin, Bryant, Witten and the trio of running backs. Romo has an arsenal of weapons that will enable him to even reach 2007's lofty numbers.
37 Jermichael Finley, GB TE2 Could have made a run at the #1 TE if not for a gruesome season-ending knee injury. One of the biggest mis-matches in the league, Finley should challenge for top honors at the TE position in 2011. Finley claims his knee feels "brand new." That sounds like trouble for opposing defenses. Aaron Rodgers loves Finley.
38 Tom Brady, NE QB7 Mr. Gisele led the NFL with 36 TD's and an amazing 36:4 TD:Int Ratio. Considering he did this with a gimpy Wes Welker, an unhappy Randy Moss (before being traded) and a washed-up Deion Branch makes it that much more impressive. I wouldn't expect another 36 TD's, but NE will likely be a pass-happy offense again, so expect another monster season by Brady.
39 Vincent Jackson, SD WR11 V-Jax has top-10 WR written all over him, but will he be happy playing in San Diego this season? Early reports confirm he doesn't mind. He crushed teams with false hope when he returned late last season. With Philip Rivers at the helm, Jackson should reach his 2008/2009 numbers with more receptions.
40 Knowshon Moreno, DEN RB20 The ranking indicates Moreno may be headed towards a split in Denver as the brass does not seem to think he is suited to be an every-down back. Moreno hasn't done much in his young career to convince them otherwise. Rumor has it DeAngelo Williams may reunite with his old coach John Fox.
41 Dez Bryant, DAL WR12 The second-year head case out of Oklahoma State is as talented as any WR in the league, but he needs to keep his head on straight in order to succeed. Well on his way to a nice rookie season before his broken leg injury, Bryant should break out in a big way in the pass-heavy Dallas Offense. Talk out of Dallas right now is nothing but praise for Bryant.
42 Dwayne Bowe, KC WR13 Bowe got off to a slow start and then exploded from weeks 6-12 scoring 13 of his league-leading 15 TD's in that span. Single-handedly carried fantasy teams during that stretch. Only issue is OC Charlie Weis will not be back in 2011. Can Bowe repeat his success? Will Chiefs focus Jamaal Charles more under new scheme?
43 Greg Jennings, GB WR14 The 27-year old WR had a monster 2011 tying a career-high with 12 TD's. It also doesn't hurt to have arguably the league's top QB feeding you the ball. Unfortunately his break-out campaign actually started in week 6 coinciding with Jermichel Finley's season-ending knee injury. Prior to that time, Jennings had only 14 catches in 5 games.
44 Reggie Wayne, IND WR15 Even though Wayne had a career-high 111 catches last season, he averaged a career-low 12.2 yards per catch. Could this be the beginning of the end for Wayne? Austin Collie's emergence and Dallas Clark's presence in the passing game has to be a concern for owners drafting Wayne. Manning didn't seem to force the ball to any particular receiver last season, and this may mark the end of Wayne's run as a top 10-WR.
45 Marques Colston, NO WR16 This is tough for me to say as Colston is my favorite player in the NFL, but I don't think I will be drafting him this season. He had another surgery on his knee in the off-season and has had knee problems often in his career (I believe the math boils down to one surgery per year in his career). Add to that, Drew Brees spreads the wealth in the Saints' offense, I see a down year for Colston. On the bright side, Colston has proved to play successful despite the knee injury, going for over 1,000 yards in 4 of his 5 seasons.
46 Peyton Hillis, CLE RB21 The Madden 2011 cover boy and PPR Monster had a hell of a season in 2010. The throw-in to the Brady Quinn trade went off for 11 TD's and 61 receptions, carrying fantasy teams along the way. Unfortunately he comes with some red flags: he completely wore down as the season went on, a fact even his GM acknowledges. With a healthy Montario Hardesty in the picture, expect a backfield split in 2011. Buyer beware.
47 Mike Williams, TB WR17 Tied for 4th in the NFL in receiving TD's with 11 in an impressive rookie season. Considering not many teams wanted to draft Williams, not too many people saw this coming. Just don't go chasing the TD's in 2011. Remember Michael Clayton?
48 Matt Schaub, Hou QB8 The talented QB unfairly labeled with the "injury-prone" tag took a step back last season, but part of that step back is thanks to the emergence of Arian Foster and the running game. There was simply no need for the Texans to pass so much with such a legitimate running game. Defenses will most definitely aim to stop Foster this season, so Schaub has a shot at matching his 2009 numbers.
49 Jeremy Maclin, PHI WR18 Maclin developed a nice rapport with Michael Vick in his 2nd season scoring 10 TD's. With defenses keyed in on DeSean Jackson, I expect Maclin to improve his receiving numbers, but don't chase the touchdowns as they are a flukey stat year to year.
50 LeGarrette Blount, TB RB22 The one-dimensional Blount was waived by the Titans and stolen by the Bucs. Best-known previously for his punch at the University of Oregon, Blount became an impact player in his rookie season averaging 5 yards per carry. He's a bruiser back limited in the passing game.